Posted by: Peter Urpeth | November 12, 2010

No Fish Farms In Broad Bay Press Release: Campaign rejects and condemns Lighthouse Caledonia’s accusations

 – Lighthouse Caledonia must work with and not against local communities in ensuring a sustainable local environment and the future of our wild fisheries

9th November 2010
The No Fish Farms In Broad Bay campaign totally rejects and condemns comments made by Lighthouse Caledonia in a letter it sent to Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar in response to the rejection of its plans for a fish farm in Broad Bay made by 16 leading marine biologists.
This campaign asserts that Lighthouse Caledonia’s letter in response to the points made by the marine biologists, and which was given wide press coverage earlier this year, fails to address the fundamental concerns raised by opponents to its plans, and instead resorts to unfounded and unsubstantiated attacks on the independence and intentions of the opponents themselves.
The No Fish Farms In Broad Bay fully endorses the response made by Fish Legal (attached) to Lighthouse Caledonia’s letter.
Campaign spokesperson Peter Urpeth said:
‘This campaign has steadfastly focussed on the specific issues of Lighthouse Caledonia’s plan for a fish farm in Broad Bay and the serious environmental risks to the future of the local wild salmonid fishery it represents.
‘The No Fish Farms In Broad Bay campaign has never commented on or campaigned against aquaculture in general, and has never aligned itself with any organisation that campaigns more widely against aquaculture. This campaign’s opposition to Lighthouse Caledonia’s plans has been fought purely on local terms and what their plan means for the future of Broad Bay. 
‘We are now completing our response to Lighthouse Caledonia’s submissions, and in doing so it is clear to us that the real extremists in this issue are the applicant company who are attempting to push this plan through against overwhelming local public opposition (more than 90% of local households signed our petition against these plans); against the scientific evidence of 18 independent marine biologists, and at a time when the company have back-tracked on their plans to invest in and create new facilities and jobs at Arnish.
‘Far from this campaign or the marine biologists being a risk to the future of aquaculture in the Western Isles, we assert that a far greater risk to the industry comes from its own attempt to develop totally unsuitable and damaging sites such as that in Broad Bay. We believe that the communities of the Western Isles will support aquaculture in the long term, and that all parties can secure benefits so long as the industry works with and not against the interests and wishes of local communities and develops locally with sensitivity to the sustainability of the local environment and our important wild fisheries. 
‘But the company’s recent attempts to undermine the messenger rather than respond to the message makes this campaign very concerned that the company will develop any site it can irrespective of risk, local opinion or local response, and ultimately its off-hand rejection of local interests is an attitude that risks provoking a public back-lash against an industry that should instead be looking to building a sustainable and cooperative future locally.’       


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